Background and objective: Root resorption is an unavoidable side effect of orthodontic tooth movement. The mechanism of root resorption is similar to bone resorption; the odontoclasts share similar characteristics with osteoclasts (OCs). MicroRNAs (miRNAs) such as miR-155-5p play an important role in OC differentiation, but the underlying molecular mechanism of miR-155-5p in this process is not fully understood. We found that the miR-155-5p seed sequences were complementary to a sequence conserved in the 3-untranslated region of CXCR2 mRNA. In this study, we explored the molecular mechanism underlying the effect of miR-155-5p on OC differentiation by targeting CXCR2. Materials and methods: In this study, we divided the orthodontic patients into mild, moderate, and severe groups according to the severity of root resorption. The gingival crevicular fluid (GCF) of patients in different groups was collected, and the expression levels of dentin phosphoprotein (DPP) were detected by ELISA, and the expression levels of CXCR2 and miR-155-5p in GCF were detected by real-time quantitative PCR (qRT-PCR). The relationship between miR-155-5p and CXCR2 was verified by double luciferase. We analyzed changes of CXCR2 and miR-155-5p expression after transfection of miR-155-5p mimic and inhibitor into RAW264.7 cells induced by receptor activator of nuclear factor-κB ligand (RANKL) through qRT-PCR and western blotting. The effect of miR-155-5p on OC differentiation was evaluated by tartrate-resistant acid phosphatase (TRAP) staining. QRT-PCR and western blotting were used to analyze expression of the osteoclastic bone resorption-related enzymes carbonic anhydrase 2 (CA II), matrix metalloproteinase-9 (MMP-9), and cathepsin K. To further confirm the direct targeting effect of CXCR2 by miR-155-5p, we blocked CXCR2 using si-CXCR2 in RANKL-induced RAW264.7 cells. Results: Dentin phosphoprotein levels were consistent with the trend of miR-155-5p changes, and the trend of CXCR2 expression was opposite to miR-155-5p changes. miR-155-5p can be directly targeted to act on CXCR2. The expression of miR-155-5p was significantly downregulated in differentiated OCs. MiR-155-5p inhibited OC differentiation, and downregulated CA II, MMP-9, and cathepsin K expression at the protein and mRNA levels. Conclusions: In summary, the results of this study suggested that miR-155-5p inhibited OC differentiation by targeting CXCR2, thus reducing root resorption in orthodontics. MiR-155-5p can be used as an effective target for avoiding or reducing the degree of root resorption in orthodontic treatment.
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